On it's own, it was a rather insignificant race, and yet it meant everything to me in the world. After not having raced since 1991 when I had run 10 miles through Manhatan & the Bronx to assist my then-friend Gerry Murphy thru his first NYC Marathon, it was finally time.
I started running around September of 2003, when the "meltdown" finally took hold in my personal life. Here were are now at the end of February, and about to put my newly-acquired NYRR membership to the test.
The weather was not too cold. 38 deg. F, sunny, 32% hum., wind var. 3mph. The trouble with the race itself was really getting there. In fact, parking was so difficult, that by the time I parked, I was already 10 minutes late for the start. I already had to run as fast as I could into the park and was completely drained. I could have started to run, but I had heard that the race was broken into men & women's, and that the women's race was about to start. Damn! I drove all the way, searched endlessly for parking, and sprinted into the park for ...nothing???
"And now, I'd like to welcome the elite women runner's to the starting line", is what the NYRR race director had said.
I lined up with the women.
But nobody noticed. I had purchased these long leg tights which are unisex, and had my face covered up for the most part, with a hat. I was the lone man running with the women.... What a way to start my comeback!
I think the most memorable moment came at the end of my race, for when I sprinted the last 100 yards, one of the race organizers by the finish, yelled through his megaphone.
"Wow! Look at that woman kicking butt!!! Nice job, runner 4809!"
And here's my number:
What an embarrasing moment!! Thank God that no one noticed!
Anyway, considering my overall results, it didn't matter anyway:
It was definitely slower than what I should have done.
Clearly, it was a disappointing finish, but considering the stress of sprinting
for nearly a mile in the cold prior to it, it came as no surprise either.